365 spells out Office in the cloud

A new version of Microsoft’s cloud based Office suite has been launched, dubbed Office 365.

Available in the US and due to arrive in Australia and New Zealand in 2011, Office 365 will incorporate the Web-based Office applications, SharePoint and Exchange Online.

It also includes Lync Online, the products formerly known as Communications Server, Communications Online and Communicator.

Office 365 will replace previous offerings such as the Business Productivity Online Suite, Microsoft Office Live Small Business and Live@edu.

"Office 365 is the best of everything we know about productivity, all in a single cloud service," said Kurt DelBene, president of the Office Division at Microsoft.

"With Office 365, your local bakery can get enterprise-calibre software and services for the first time, while a multinational pharmaceutical company can reduce costs and more easily stay current with the latest innovations. People can focus on their business, while we and our partners take care of the technology."

Pricing will start at $US2 per user, per month for basic e-mail, or for $US24 per month Office Professional Plus will incorporate voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web portals, extranets, voice conferencing and videoconferencing, web conferencing, phone support and on-premises licenses.

Later in 2011, Office 365 will expand to include Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.


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